Classic Car Storage Checklist.

Properly preparing a classic car for storage is essential to ensure it remains in good condition while not in use. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Clean the car:
    • Wash and thoroughly clean the exterior to remove any dirt, dust, and contaminants.
    • Clean the interior, including vacuuming and wiping down surfaces to prevent mold and odors.
  2. Change the oil and filter:
    • Fresh oil reduces the risk of engine damage due to contaminants in used oil.
  3. Check the coolant:
    • Make sure the coolant is at the correct level and has the right mixture to prevent freezing.
  4. Fuel system:
    • Add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank to prevent gasoline from deteriorating and clogging the fuel system.
    • Run the engine for a few minutes to circulate the treated fuel through the system.
  5. Tire maintenance:
    • Inflate the tires to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure to prevent flat spots.
    • Consider using tire cradles or jacks to take the weight off the tires.
  6. Battery:
    • Disconnect the battery or use a battery maintainer to prevent it from discharging.
    • If disconnected, store the battery in a cool, dry place.
  7. Prevent rust and corrosion:
    • Apply a corrosion inhibitor or rust-preventative spray to exposed metal surfaces.
    • Use a car cover to protect the car from dust and moisture.
  8. Lubrication:
    • Lubricate the hinges, latches, and any moving parts to prevent them from seizing.
  9. Exhaust and intake:
    • Block the exhaust and intake with cloth or steel wool to prevent rodents from entering.
  10. Cool, dry storage:
    • Store the car in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated space. A climate-controlled garage is ideal.
    • If the car must be stored outdoors, consider using a breathable car cover.
  11. Insurance:
    • Maintain insurance coverage on the car to protect against theft, damage, or other unexpected events.
  12. Document:
    • Take photographs of the car’s condition before storage to document any existing issues.
    • Keep a record of the last maintenance and any work performed.
  13. Start the car periodically:
    • If possible, start the engine and let it run for a short time (5-10 minutes) every few weeks to circulate fluids and prevent seals from drying out. This step may not be necessary if you use a fuel stabilizer.
  14. Avoid using the parking brake:
    • Over an extended period, the parking brake can seize. Use wheel chocks or blocks to prevent the car from moving.
  15. Store with care:
    • Store the car with minimal weight on the suspension to prevent flat spots on tires and excessive stress on the suspension components.

Properly preparing and storing your classic car will help ensure that it remains in good condition and ready to enjoy when you’re ready to take it out of storage. If you plan to store the car for an extended period, consider consulting with a professional mechanic or restorer for additional guidance specific to your vehicle.

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